Here's the thing about satire: Parody has a sharper sting if what's being ridiculed is actually relevant. And while it looks like everyone's having a grand time lampooning the old-school histrionics of the classic TV miniseries "epic" in IFC's elaborate all-star Funny or Die put-on The Spoils of Babylon, I'm afraid the fun isn't all that contagious, in part because the joke is such a stale one to begin with.
The whole enterprise, which consists of six half-hour chapters (the first two airing back-to-back starting Thursday at 10/9c), has the musty whiff of one of those movies derived from so-so Saturday Night Live sketches. Each installment opens with a staged intro, featuring a heavily made-up Will Ferrell as a rotund Orson Welles-like egomaniac impresario (described as "author, producer, actor, writer, director, raconteur, bon vivant, legend, fabulist" — and that's just the first episode's credits) who sinks further and further into his (wine) cups as he reflects on his lost late-'70s "masterpiece," which he self-financed as if he were Scrooge McDuck.read more
This week, Katy Perry was awkwardly caught lip-syncing when her backup track failed at an awards ceremony in France, while Paul Rudd and Kate McKinnon premiered their new web series Hudson Valley Ballers. Someone adorably re-created the movie Elf using pugs, andZach Galifianakis hosted a holiday edition of "Between Two Ferns." Also, Sarah Silverman,Michael Cera and other comedians launched an ugly sweater charity campaign for Stand Up to Cancer, and the first scene of the Kristen Wiig and Tobey Maguire miniseries The Spoils of Babylon premiered. Check out those clips and more in our weekly roundup of the best onlinevideos:read more
This week, Jesse Spano was brought back to life! For one night only.Elizabeth Berkley gave Dancing with the Stars viewers a healthy dose of Saved by the Bell nostalgia, and a Boston police officer also got "so excited" during a Red Sox playoff game. NCIS: Los Angeles celebrated 100 episodes by releasing a new music video, and Bill Nye's new web series about the NASA mission to Jupiter premiered. Oh, and a bear played tetherball. Check out those clips and more in our weekly roundup of the best online videos:read more